Navy ship brings 177 stranded tourists, crewmen back to Phuket
A total of 161 foreign tourists, including Chinese and Russians, and 16 crewmen of a tour boat were on Wednesday night brought back to Phuket by a navy ship, HTMS Narathiwat, after being stranded for two days on Koh Racha Yai island off Phuket.
Vice Admiral Somnuek Prempramote, commander of the Third Naval Area, said HTMS Narathiwat was dispatched to Koh Racha Yai after the navy was asked for help by business operators who reported that a large number of tourists had been stranded on the island.
The tour boat which took the tourists to the island could not bring the tourists back because of stormy seas with 2-3 metres high waves. The Phuket marine office had issued an announcement banning boats less than 9 metres long from going out into the sea.
The business operators called for help from the navy because some of the tourists were due to return to their home countries.
HTMS Narathiwat brought to tourists and the tour boat crew back to the Phuket deep-see port at 10pm on Wednesday night.
Vice Admiral Somnuek said the operation was to show hospitality of the host country and build confidence among tourists.